Liberia music is progressing at a convincing pace however there is work to be done if high standards are to be reached.
A number of issues which keep drawing back the industry have to be addressed. Through a microscopic view of Liberia Music Industry, the following liabilities have been noted.
Lack of originality
Being a culturally diverse country, many songs coming out fall short of cultural values therein. Instead the American hip hop culture is dominating the art, as most artists yearn for prestige. They believe our music should reflect foreign life if it is to befit that status. Yes, local languages are used but only as a channel for transferring foreign ideologies.
A good number of musicians are busy promoting other cultures while ignoring their roots. Judging them by the type of music they do, in other countries they can be confused as their own. On this note, Nigerians must be very proud of Liberians for helping in promoting their culture through music.
Jaredo in Ur Waist, does it the Ghanaian way with only languages used separating him to Kwame Eugene, the featured artist. Worse still, Nigerian music is now being identified as afro music thus every artist doing music along those lines is called an afro artist.
But what serves as perfect examples for music besieged by traits of local culture? Promise by Kizzy W, Da Love by Mr. Parbai, Big Papa by CIC, and Don’t Disrespect by Casimoney, to mention a few. These are the songs we can confidently present to other parts of the world and say, “this is Liberia music.”
It’s not about preaching against foreign genres but to what extent are local cultural values embedded. Look at how CIC has transformed Afropop into Kolopop, no wonder he is one of the very few local artists recognised outside the country.
This is one of the major setbacks in Liberia music. Most artists rush to studios with work that is not ripe enough. Creating good music involves a lot; writing lyrics, practicing, recording a demo, and polishing up the work. This requires time but in Liberia it does not work that way as artists write lyrics while in studio.
It’s sad that artists are so quick to gain fame and make money. This makes most artists lose touch after a few years. Music is an inborn art which one has to enjoy, it has to be baked without thinking of its rewards. When listening to CIC, one can tell that he takes time in developing a song.
Lack of promotion
There are very few music promoters in the country making most artists manage themselves. This is a serious problem to up and coming MCs without a financial backbone on which their talent can lean on. As a result they end up working with cheap studios where quality is compromised.
Surely making music is not cheap, more money is required when the song is out to carter for marketing purposes. It’s sad that music is no longer selling as it used to before the internet took shape in the country. Fans would rather download a song than buy a CD in this age, and this has reduced music to a game for only those with financial backing and not those with talent.
However most artists have a problem; you sign them only to be dumped once they rise. SOG Record deserves a standing ovation for their remarkable role in promoting artists.